Save the date for our 25th anniversary show!
Georgian’s Got Talent . . . or Not! Benefit Concert
Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24, 2017
Please bring a non-perishable food item for the Georgian Food Locker program.
Tickets are now available!
Georgian’s annual benefit concert is celebrating its 25th year! We’ve been raising money for financially challenged students for over two decades with this fun event that showcases the talents of our students and staff.
Since its inaugural outing in 1993, Georgian’s annual variety show has been entertaining staff, students and the community while raising money for financially challenged students at the college. Proceeds from the show fund the annual Gord Bastian Memorial Entrance Award – a $1,000 bursary given away to a first-year student. The rest of the proceeds go into a special financial aid fund to help students.
Emceed by the talented and funny Andrea Murray, the show builds on its successful formula of song, comedy and dance. Showcasing many of Georgian’s talented students and staff, we guarantee that no one will leave disappointed!
This year’s show will also celebrate Georgian’s 50th anniversary as well as Canada’s 150th birthday.
Here’s a video of a few acts you won’t be seeing on the benefit concert stage.
$15 – general admission
$10 – for students, seniors, retirees and alumni
$30 – dinner/show
You can also buy tickets
call 705.728.1968, ext. 1771
•Bear Essentials (Barrie and Orillia campuses)
•at the door
Please note: tickets are non-refundable but are transferable.
Michele Baron – Co-ordinator, Pre-Health Sciences and Professor, Mathematics and Physics
My joy here at Georgian for the past five years has been working with students. I love having the privilege of showing them that math is not really about the numbers at all and that physics is simply a way of seeing the beauty of our world.
Outside of the College, my passions are math, physics, and nature in all its forms which I truly enjoy while snowshoeing, biking, camping and, especially when paddling in my trusty kayak.
This is my first Benefit Concert here at Georgian as a performer and it has been a blast! Georgian is a special place and that is reflected in spades in the commitment and camaraderie of the entire crew involved in this show. I am hooked and hope that you are, too!
Nancy Blain – Counsellor, Student Success
Although Nancy Blain has been working at Georgian for 38 years, she made her first appearance in the show last year as part of JDM (Georgian’s resident house band).
Nancy loves her job. Through her work as a counsellor in Student Services, she supports students on their journey so they can learn to work with, or eliminate, barriers to their success.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends, cooking, gardening, music, walking and learning something new every day. Her retirement plans include travel, and more travel.
Nancy is amazed by the talent at Georgian College and lists “any Andrea moment” as her favourite variety show memory.
Kim Brent – Finance Officer, SAC, Student Life department
Kim does accounts payable and receivable for the student-run businesses on campus (TLC, Athletics, Student Planner, SAC Activities, The Den), as well as reconciliations for food and beverage inventory and student insurance. Kim has worked at Georgian since 1988, is getting ready for retirement and feeling great.
For her 50th birthday, she and her boyfriend of almost 10 years jumped out of a plane. Another thing off their bucket lists! She started a part-time business in April 2011 as an independent consultant for Scentsy Fragrance that keeps her very busy outside of work. Each of her two daughters is happily married with two children. Her mom, who is a five time breast cancer survivor, is doing great.
Gord Bastian asked her to get involved in either the second or third show as Vanna the intermission door prize ticket girl. One of her favourite moments over the years was when Andrea was experiencing a bit of “nervous gas” in the closed coffin before the Thriller opening number. Another favourite was when Kim’s daughter Brittany performed a dance routine with her high school friend from the Dance Team. It was a proud moment – the first ever dance routine in the show.
She believes the show is absolutely great value for your money. Two hours of very talented acts that will make you laugh, sing along, and tap your feet.
Chris Figgures – Faculty, Graphic Design, Web Animation and Design
Chris is in his seventh year as part-time faculty here at Georgian teaching Package Design & Illustration, by hand – and their respective software counterparts.
On top of teaching, he has his own busy design business and moonlights as a musician on weekends. He has his own solo act as well as being a part of a five-piece band performing mainly in the Midland area.
Chris and his wife have three amazing daughters and are non-stop! While his wife is back in school to get her RN, Chris wrangles like a proper Mr. Mom.
This will be his third benefit concert.
Marilyn Gregory – Graphic Design alumna
Marilyn has worked in music teaching and performance for most of her adult life. Most recently she and her husband, Bob, lived and worked in Livingstone, Zambia. There they had the Livingstone Performing Arts Foundation and developed “The Arts Café” to create work and to feature the traditions and artists of Zambia.
Marilyn graduated from the Graphic Design at Georgian in 2016 but has graciously returned as an accompanist for several of our staff and students.
Gary Harris – Program Co-ordinator and faculty member, School of Engineering Technology and Environmental Studies
Gary says he has the best job in the world. He empowers students to achieve the skills they need to succeed in the working world.
Gary started at Georgian College in 2002 and has been involved in six shows, providing the rhythm for JDM.
One of his favourite show moments was during the St. Patrick’s Day show when one of JDM’s guitarists started their number by playing the wrong song. A band mate discretely whispered in his ear and he quickly changed the intro into the right song; no one in the audience caught the mistake. Gary says there are some incredibly talented staff, students and friends of Georgian. The show is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
On a final note, Gary says: “I am not sure if any of my colleagues have realized this, but I am starting to get a receding hair line. I think I am tall enough that people haven’t yet noticed.”
Shona Klugman – Advertising and Design Supervisor, Student Life
Shona Klugman, a graduate of Georgian’s graphic design and web design programs, is thrilled to be applying her skills as to this year’s show. Since joining Student Life staff eight years ago, she has been involved with the show as a performer, committee member and stage assistant.
Shona loves the show tech rehearsals and all the backstage antics that go on behind the curtains. She says the show has a great atmosphere and everybody is there to have a good time. She also says the show has something for everyone – music, singing, dancing and comedy. Everyone she’s encouraged to come to the show has loved it and returned each year since.
Shona plays baseball in the summer and volleyball in the winter. Outside of Georgian, she has her own graphic design business, designing custom invitations and other items.
Mikaela Lefaive – Communications Specialist
I like to say that my job is to tell stories about how awesome Georgian is. I started in August 2013 and have loved every minute.
I’m Franco-Ontarian from Perkinsfield, which means I speak Franglais fluently. In my spare time, I sing in a francophone choir, sit on the board of La Clé, and help through the 2016 Festival du Loup Committee.
At home, I blog (www.hellofield.com), piece together short stories, play the piano, and paint poorly. I’m also vegetarian and a bit of an ecoholic – but not the preachy kind.
Elaine roped me into the show before I even started working here and I’m so excited to see it all come together.
Anne-Marie McAllister – Prehealth Faculty, Health and Wellness and Library Services
I have worked at Georgian since 1989 and every day, I have the pleasure of assisting students to succeed in their studies.
When I am not working you can find me on the ski hills or cycling around Barrie. I love to sing – especially harmonizing. It is a good thing I enjoy cooking because I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
I have been involved in the show for 16 years and I have so many wonderful memories. One memory that still makes me laugh is when Doug, Greg, Dennis and I rolled onto the stage in a makeshift shower and re-enacted the Irish Spring commercial. When I popped up, the audience erupted in laughter. That made me happy! It is a true VARIETY show.
Steve McDonald – Faculty, General Education, Human Services programs
Steve has been on staff at Georgian since 1992. He was a counsellor in student services, then moved to teaching. Steve has taught in college diploma, college degree, and university degree programs. He is currently lead faculty for General Education on the Orillia campus, and teaches in the human service diploma programs.
Steve has been married for 33 years and is the proud father of three young adult daughters. Steve has been involved in the Variety Show since its inception and is very proud to be a part of it.
When Steve first started performing in the show, his daughters were toddlers, and they would yell from the audience “Yeah Daddy!” whenever he appeared. When they got a bit older, they appeared with Steve in the show. They are now young adults and still like to come and be in the audience. Georgian’s variety show is full of fond family memories for Steve.
Andrea Murray – Welcome Centre Assistant
Andrea will bring her ebullient MC talents to the show stage for the 16th year in a row this March. Before taking over MC duties in 2000, Andrea started off as Gord Bastian’s sidekick; she still misses him.
Andrea likes to tell people she arrived in Barrie with the tornado in 1985 as a Georgian College student. She stayed because of the people. She enjoyed her time as a Georgian student and says the faculty was amazing.
Outside of her work life, Andrea does a bit of stand-up comedy and was honoured to be asked to perform in Barrie’s inaugural comedy festival last fall. She will be performing in it again this year.
Andrea is a huge supporter of the arts and believes Kurt Vonnegut sums it up best: “The arts are what make life bearable.” She also loves music and belongs to the Barrie Folk Society.
Andrea is passionate about social justice, so if there’s a rally, protest or otherwise, she’ll be there in person, tweeting, flash mobbing or spreading the word. Andrea also has a serious side ‒ she conducts spiritual retreats and teaches an energy medicine technique called Tapping.
Andrea’s favourite show moment was when she lost it during a clogging routine, collapsing on stage in laughter. Her second favourite moment was her near-marriage to her infamous ex, Fill (he was an inflatable doll).
Elaine Murray – Communications Specialist
Currently in her 25th year at Georgian – the longest relationship she’s ever had – Elaine works in Georgian’s Corporate Marketing and Communications department.
Outside of Georgian, Elaine’s life revolves around music. A founding member of the Barrie Folk Society, she helps spread the word about folk music, as well as convinces those who claim not to like folk music that they really do. Elaine also plays guitar and piano, and has penned a few tunes of her own. She’s also excited about a recent project called People of Barrie and encourages people to check it out.
Elaine is an avid (or some would say rabid) fan of Bruce Springsteen. With 21 Springsteen concerts under her touring belt, she’s seen the inside of some of the finest arenas in North America, including those in Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland, New York, New Jersey, Boston and Hershey. Her dream is to see a Springsteen show in Europe – because that’s where the “real” fans go. (Oh, and she’d also like to meet the man.)
Elaine has been involved with the benefit concert since its inception. Recruited in her first year by Gord Bastian to help backstage, she fell in love with the show and everything it stands for – helping students and showcasing talent at Georgian. She’s worked her way up through the ranks from backstage assistant to director. On stage she’s been everything from a hockey player, cheerleader and lumberjack, to a heavy metal singer and Britney Spears.
If anyone would like to be involved in a future show – whether performing, backstage or on the committee – please have them contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about this Springsteen fan, visit http://lifeinapaddedshell-barriecrazyjaney.blogspot.ca.
Andrew Nikkanen – Fine Arts student
Andrew has been in love with singing since before he could talk. He is enrolled in the Art and Design program and loves it. He has been involved with musical theatre since the age of nine and was delighted to be Jonathan Harker in Dracula at The South Simcoe Theatre last year.
Outside of theatre Andrew is a recent graduate of Niagara College (Radio and Television Broadcasting) and is a co-host for Barrie Rogers Community Cruiser summer segment.
Shayna Osborne – Business student
Shayna was introduced to dance at the age of three, and her love for the art form lead to her to be invited, at age six, to be on the competition team at Renee’s Dance Design. At the time, she was one of the youngest members on the team. Being a part of the competitive team has allowed Shayna to travel to many places in Canada and the United States.
During her many years of dance, Shayna has had the opportunity to attend many workshops lead by the industries top choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Travis Wall and many more. She also performed in the production of “Music, Music, Music” as put on by the Onstage Performance Group.
Shayna is currently studying jazz, tap & acrobatic technique under the Performing Arts Educators of Canada syllabus and under Dance Masters of America. Shayna has completed her Intermediate Vocational Graded Exam through the Royal Academy of Dance.
Cori Rheault – Business Administration – Human Resources alumna
Cori has graduated from Georgian but is excited to be returning to the show as part of the all-girl band, Girl Monday.
Before deciding to go back to school Cori worked in financial services management – but has always been a musician on the side – whether performing in small theatres around the west coast or singing with friends around the campfire or just banging on the piano at home.
During the very first week of classes Cori spotted the information about the benefit concert and hoped she could be a part of it. She’s looking forward to all the performances and happy to be having fun with music in support of such a great cause.
Nicolas Rodrigo – Fine Arts student
A Fine Arts student here at Georgian, Nicolas Rodrigo loves the arts in their many forms – dance especially. Though he’s mostly inspired by forms of hip-hop, he also incorporates martial arts and yogic techniques into his dancing.
Nicolas believes that dance, like all art, requires constant evolution – an ideal emphasized by the term he calls his style of dance: kinetic art. By removing the names of pre-existing dance forms from his mind and thinking of what he does as art, Nicolas feels freer to explore movement as a whole and less confined to practicing specific styles of dance.
Greg Taylor – Counsellor, Student Success
I help students… and staff – mostly with mental health issues and also academic issues. I have worked at Georgian for 20 years.
I grew up in Barrie, left for 15 years, moved back, and Elaine told me about a job posting at Georgian. I applied and lo and behold, they hired me!
I live in Barrie and have the best wife on the planet, two young children that keep me “young” and a standard poodle named Sunny. I consider myself a pretty creative guy and LOVE creating things: with students I help, in workshops I put together, songwriting, and making comedy.
I have been involved with the show since starting at Georgian in 1996. It’s something I look forward to every year. I’ve had many favourite moments but one big favourite was when my daughter Grace first came to see me in the show. She was near the front and I was doing a goofy skit with Doug Crawford (surprise, surprise). We came into the theatre from the front door and down the middle stairs towards the stage. Grace got up and started waving frantically at me, saying, “hey dad, I’m here!” like no one else was in the room. I tried to stay in character.
The show is a delightful way to be entertained for a night, and it’s for a great cause. I’m still not ready to give up my day job yet, although I thought the “Give Where You Live” video was the launching pad.
Lituole Wei – Jewellery and Metals student
I enjoy my studio life very much. I’ve always been fascinated with art, which plays an important part of my life. I’m interested in drawing and designing as well as singing (although I’m not talkative in daily life).
I have three years of professional training in non-classical vocal performance during high school. I successfully held a solo performance concert in 2014. I enjoyed every minute on stage.
The staffs and students of Georgian are friendly and helpful. I’m having a good time studying here.
This is my second benefit show. I’m looking forward to it.
Allie Webster – CICE student
I am a second year student in the CICE program. I am originally from Collingwood, but now I live in residence in Barrie. I’ve been singing since the age of eight. I have three siblings and three stepsisters. I enjoy singing, swimming, yoga, and writing poems and stories. This is the first time I will be performing in the show and I’m looking forward to it!
David Yole – Web and Data Management Specialist, Centre for Access and Disability Services
David jokes that he does just about everything. “Other duties as assigned” have made up 90 per cent of his job description for the past 13 years.
Besides playing in his band JDM, Dave likes to travel, camp, cycle, cross country ski, work on his Master of Education, and take in as many concerts as he can. He’ll be travelling to Manchester, Tennessee for Bonnaroo 2014 which will be his fourth “Roo.” Other than that, Dave takes every day as it comes and get as much out of life as humanly possible.
Dave has been involved in the show since 2005. His band has quickly morphed into a house band, accompanying many other performers. Dave has especially enjoyed the antics of Monika Trickett and Jill Peacock over the years. The advice he has to offer those who have never seen the show before: Wear Depends. He says that despite what Nancy Blain thinks, he is the eye candy of the band.
In 1993, the first Georgian College Variety Show was held and with its debut, one of Gord’s dreams was born. Gord was a long-time Georgian employee who worked in a variety of departments at the college including Hospitality and Tourism and Shipping. It was Gord’s idea to present a show to showcase the talents of Georgian staff and students, while at the same time raising money and lifting spirits during the cold winter months.
He always felt his musical abilities were a gift from a higher power – a gift he felt a duty to share. Whether for sheer enjoyment, to help out a good cause or to just brighten one’s day, he gave of his talents freely and without reward. Gord always felt it was one’s duty to give back to the community that offered so much to each person within it, and this show offered him that opportunity.
Gord passed away in the spring of 1999 but the committee has continued to present the show in his honour.